Scene 2: Tegan and Sara
Lakeshore Theater, Aug. 7
After the success of Tegan and Sara's 2005 album, So Jealous, it's a rare occasion to see them in a venue that holds less than 1,000. So when the duo announced they would be touring parts of the United States and playing clubs with capacities of 300 to 400, tickets sold out in a nanosecond.
Having not been one of those lucky ticket holders, I tried my hardest to get on the press list but, as one of the publicists told me, â€œthere were like four press passes given out,â€ and I was not one of those lucky few. I thought I was destined to miss the show and tried to convince myself it would be less than amazing.
But some higher power smiled down upon me and blessed me with my dear friend Jessica and her connections at the Lakeshore Theater. An hour before the show began, she called me and asked, â€œWhere are you?â€ Then she told me to grab a cab and jet across town because she could get me in. Never has a cab been grabbed faster.
My girlfriend and I showed up at the theater to be pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere. The Lakeshore is on the edge of Boystown and just recently started booking concerts, but it has a heavy focus on comedy. (Upcoming events there include Margaret Cho's The Sensuous Woman.)
Every seat was filled in the auditorium, despite the humidity. The crowd was comprised of ladies (and a handful of guys) who seemed to fall in the 17-to-28 age range and who sang along and cheered mightily for anything Tegan and Sara did. We were in for a rare treat as the twins played two sets: the entire new album, The Con, plus a set of old favorites.
I spotted tattooed up members of the Chi-Town Sirens roller derby team, a couple of friends who found tickets outside, and every kind of hardcore Tegan and Sara fan in the Chicagoland area.
The girls sounded better than ever, and Chicago fans are pretty respectful â€” except for a select few. One eager fan kept standing up to shout to Tegan and Sara in between songs: "I've seen you at Metro, I've seen you at the Double Door, I've seen you at Virgin â€” thank you for playing at such an intimate venue!" Tegan and Sara nodded politely the first time around, but a few beers and songs later, when she was at it again, the girls weren't afraid to cut her off.
"More than annoyed, I am just embarrassed to be part of the crowd when people do things like that," my girlfriend said in my ear when there was a lull in between songs as the hoots and hollers died down. "I don't want artists to think that we're all like that here." I nodded and wiped the sweat off my brow for the hundredth time, happy to be in the sweltering room nonetheless.
Despite the shouter, the best part of Tegan and Sara shows are surely their sisterly banter, and the relatively intimate venue lent itself well to their 10-minute interludes of song explanations and their ideas about America, including baseball (Sara prefers hockey, as all Canadians do) and new merchandise (sleeping bags Ã la New Kids on the Block).
Despite the heat and a problem in which the stage lighting would turn off at random times in the middle of a song, Chicago's lesbian fans proved their loyalty to their favorite twins. After the show, a crowd gathered to wait by the bus, but I didn't stick around long enough to see if they were successful in shaking the identical hands of Tegan and Sara.